Thursday, 8 May 2014

Pittsburgh Bald Eagles at Risk Due to Rat Poison Presence

Pittsburgh's first eagle nest in 250 years in danger due to poison being used in their hunting territory

Save Hays Eagles, Pittsburgh residents, The Pennsylvania Game Commission, and eagle enthusiasts countrywide are extremely concerned of the very real danger facing the Pittsburgh bald eagles family.  The city's first bald eagle nest in over 250 years is in danger due to rat poison being used at a nearby recycling center.

Annette Devinney, founder of Save Hays Eagles, said, "I have been photographing these eagles since they arrived over a year ago (January 2013). The poison being used to eradicate the rats at the Pittsburgh Recycling Center (closed) is less than one mile from the eagles nest. The nest contains two adults and three eaglets. The eaglets have been known to eat rats – seen eating at least three rats this week actually. The poison could easily kill the birds, not to mention other raptors in the area - Redtail hawks, falcons, owls, etc."
Bill Powers, president of Pixcontroller, the company that set up the nest webcam with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said the concern from local citizens is valid.  "The threat to the eagles is a real danger. The chances of the eagles picking up one of these rats could be pretty high. If action is taken to get rid of the rats, then it needs to be something that will not negatively impact the environment," said Powers.
Devinney agrees that the rats are a problem but that it needs to be resolved without impacting the eagles. "The rats need to be removed without poison. Removing the garbage in the area is a great beginning," she said.

Measures are already being taken to protect the eagles. Guillermo Cole, health director, Allegheny County Department of Health said, "The Allegheny County health department is issuing a consent order to the new owners of the Pittsburgh Recycling Center to use effective measures that are sensitive to environmental impacts and provide minimum harm to humans, pests, and wildlife." 

The Pittsburgh Hays Bald Eagle cam, operated by Pixcontroller, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and streamed live by WildEarth, has over 1.5 million views to date.

"This eagle cam has brought thousands of residents locally and across the entire country together as we are all interested in the bald eagles and the eaglets. We are all learning together and sharing in this wonderful experience and we must ensure future generations have this opportunity as well," said Robin Hauger, Save Hays Eagles member, and eagle enthusiast. 

Bill Powers,, said that the webcam has really sparked an interest in the eagles. "The way people are looking at this and getting involved with the cameras is validating a lot of the things that are happening locally. The fact that folks are as passionate about it as they are speaks volumes."

To view the Pittsburgh bald eagles, please visit:
To join Save Hays Eagles group:
For more photos of the eagles, visit Eagles of Hays Pa:

SOURCE Save Hays Eagles

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